Wildschutsberg Game Farm -
the Eastern Cape's Best Kept Secret
Wildschutsberg Game Farm and Lodge is located in the picturesque foothills of the Stormberg Mountains near Queenstown in South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province. The Eastern Cape is the only one of South Africa’s nine provinces to have all seven of the country’s ecological zones within its boundaries. Scenic diversity is one of the most striking characteristics of the region. The Game Farm is 55 000 acres (22 000 hectares) in extent and is some 25 km long and 15k wide (15 x 9 miles). and Wildschutsberg Game Farm is malaria free.
The farm was owned by a British nobleman in the early 1800’s and then renamed Wildschutsberg by a later Dutch owner. The current farm has been extended through purchase of nearby farms and Wildschutsberg is now one of the largest game farms in the Eastern Cape. The farm extends from the foothills of one mountain range, across a wide open plain to another range of mountains and then beyond. The vegetation ranges from open savannah to bushveld. Several natural springs run all year round. Some areas of the farm have been used to grow lucerne and other fodder so that the game can be fed during the dry winter months. The Wildshutsberg mountain, at 7 000 feet, which overlooks the farm was named by the Dutch settlers. The San (Bushman) paintings on our farm are a fascinating insight to the heritage of the area.
The diverse terrain is home to over 60 different animal species, including many rarely seen species of buck from all over the world. We have lion, rhino, leopard, cheetah, buffalo, hippo and tigers for viewing, including magnificent white lions. Our buck species include sable, kudu, gemsbok, blue and black wildebeest, eland, waterbuck, nyala, blesbok, impala steenbok, duiker, bushbuck, springbok, hartebeest, and reedbuck. Also on the farm are other mammals such as baboon, warthog, spotted and brown hyena and more.
Eastern Cape game farms tend to be larger and more diverse than game farms further north in Mpumalanga and Limpopo Provinces. This means a greater diversity of terrains and species. Due to the cold and snow in winter ticks and other disease bearing insects are killed off in winter, so our game is healthy and a wide variety of species and excellent specimens can be seen during your game drive.
Wildschutsberg Game Farm is owner managed and run. This hands-on approach means that there is always one of the owners on site to welcome guests and ensure that every stay is enjoyable and that high standards are maintained.
The Wildschutsberg Game Farm is run on highly ethical grounds and has a total commitment to conservation and sustainability. We have ongoing breeding programmes and are proud to have grown the numbers and quality of all our species since the farm was first established in 2000. We have expanded the size of the farm and have reclaimed large areas which have previously been barren or overgrazed by domestic animals. We now have herds of buck that are extinct in their native habitats. We allow hunting on the farm but this is restricted to certain times of year and to only certain animals. Income from hunting allows us to maintain and improve our herds and to supply other game farms and zoos. When hunting is on we do not allow other visitors to the farm or, on rare occasions when hunting and eco-tourism coincide, we inform other visitors beforehand.
Wildschutsberg was established by Greg Harvey in 2000 with just 1 200 hectares; now it is 55 000 hectares. The emphasis is on constant improvement and development. All the dams have been fully renovated, fencing improved and firebreaks constantly monitored. Although our concentration is on wildlife, we have recently started a mini zoo, with a number of animals from black swans to a tame sitatunga from Johannesburg Zoo and a large koi pond. For those committed to fitness we have a gymnasium with over 70 pieces of equipment and a squash court. Horseback riding can be arranged. Future plans include a tented camp in the mountains, new koi ponds, and introduction of more species. We also have a plan to build trout ponds.
At the lodge we have recently established a mini zoo, with a number of animals from black swans to a tame sitatunga from Johannesburg Zoo. Emus wander around the lodge and there is a large koi pond. Greg never misses an opportunity to acquire new species and has recently added finches to the aviary, more waterfowl, pigs and other animals.
Educational tours are a regular occurrence, which Huntershill does not charge for. Children are brought by coach from various surrounding schools, sometimes 80-90 at a time. At Wildschutsberg they are given the opportunity to see game and domestic animals and are given talks on farming, ecology, conservation and wildlife. A snack and a cool drink in the lapa make this a wonderful experience for the children.
The owners and staff at Wildschutsberg are active supporters of the Mzamomhle Home Based Care Centre and we ask everyone to help if they can.